tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 20, 2013 7:00am-9:01am EST
commons. prior to question time the house is wrapping up a business. this is live coverage on c-spa c-span2. >> i'm sitting alongside two of them here. could i urge my honorable friend to make sure that is a new, large prison? it can deal with all the different types of offenders it will have to address to have the best rehabilitative effect and make sure that our proper work facilities for prisoners. >> minister? >> i thank my honorable friend. last week i saw a great example of a large and diverse prison showing just how effectively different categories of prisoners can be brought together. we have exactly the same aspiration for the new prison in north wales. >> or do. questions to the prime minister.
>> number one, mr. speaker. >> the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker comes to the whole house will wish to join me in paying tribute to warrant officer ian fisher of the first the type who was killed on operations in afghanistan on tuesday the fifth of november. it is clear from the tributes paid he was a professional and well respected soldier who made a huge contribution to the army over many years on a number of operational tours. our thoughts and condolences should be with his family and his friends. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> i'm sure everyone of us will want to -- in this season of her members we will always remember their service to our country. >> hear your. >> mr. speaker, in piece across the house will have memories of
the nightmare unfolding across the bank. does the prime minister share my sense of his belief that a person such as -- responsible as he was for large sums of our constituents money was ever appointed to position of chairman? working out to to find out how on earth that happen? >> my honorable friend makes an important point. constituents across the house will have people who hold co-op bonds are very weird about what will happen to their investment but let me be clear, the first priority is to safeguard this bank and to make sure it's safeguard without using taxpayers money. that must be the priority. my right honorable friend the chancellor will be discussing with the regulators what is the appropriate form of inquiry to get to the bottom of what went wrong. but there are clearly a lot of questions that have to be answered.
why was he suitable to be chairman of a bank? why we're not alarm bells rung earlier? i think will be important that if one does have information they stand up and provided to the authorities. >> girl ed miliband. [shouting] -- ed miliband. [shouting] >> thank you i joined the prime minister in paying tribute to warrant officer ian fisher. he died serving his country, and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends. >> here, here. >> can the prime minister tell us how this campaign is going to save the children's center? >> i support children's centers across the whole of the country. the fact is inspite a very difficult decisions that have to be made right across the country, the number of children centers has reduced by around
1%. like all members of parliament i fight very hard for services in my constituency. >> ed miliband. >> but, mr. speaker, they are going around saying that children centers are safe and there are no threats to them. and there is no threat to them. but things are so bad he's even sign the petition in his own area to -- [inaudible] now, can he clarify, is the petition addressed to his local tory council or is he taking it right to the top? >> there are more people using children centers than ever before in our country. the figures are, because he doesn't want to give the figures, there are 3000 children centers. the point i will make is this. this government can hold its head up high because rather than increasing the number that's going to local councils, more children centers. that's what's happening under
this government. >> ed miliband. >> well, mr. speaker, we all wish him luck in his fight as a local member of parliament. imagine what he could achieve if you were prime minister of the country. [laughter] i think would establish his double standards. let's take another example. in tory ethics their proposal -- i know they don't care about children centers so they should hush down so they can listen. let's take another example. they are proposal is to close at 11 centers, and downgraded and 37. with the hours they stay open from 50 hours a week to as little as five. fewer centers, fewer staff, fewer hours. how is that doing what he promised before the election which is to protect and improve the center? >> let me tell them what is happening under this government in terms of child care. for the first time ever, 15 hours of childcare for every
three and four year old in the country. that never happened under labour. for the first time under this government, free childcare hours for every disadvantaged two year old in the country. that never happened under labour. and also to come, tax free childcare under this government. that never happened under labour. and we've upgraded the child tax credit by 420 pounds under this government. that is what is happening. let me be clear. one policy we won't adopt, and that is labour's policy funding more hours through the bank lady. fail poverty spent the bank levied 10 times over. yes, there it is. the jobs guarantee, vat cuts, more capital spending. mr. speaker, this isn't a policy. it's a night out with reverend flowers. [shouting] >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker.
[shouting] let's talk, let's talk about the people he associates with. [shouting] >> let the house calm down. i'm concerned is always about back benches, and back benches who want to speak should be a accommodative. so calm down and let's move on. ed miliband. >> he wants to talk like he associates with -- he's taken nearly 59 pounds from michael spent his country was about to be -- he has a party chairman who operated a company under a false name and was investigated for fraud. he taken millions from tax exiles and tax all borders. his party has never paid back the money, and they are just the people i can talk about in this house, mr. speaker. now, didn't do the planning minister have it right yesterday when he said this, the single
biggest problem facing the conservative party is being seen as a party of the rich? >> today of all days who wants to talk about the people he associates with and he takes money from. because what we can now see is that this bank driven into the wall by this chairman has been given soft loans to the labour party, facilities to the labour party, donations to the labour party. truth in and out of downing street under labour. still advising the leader of the labour party, and yet, and yet now we know all along they knew about his past. why did they do nothing to bring to the attention of the authorities this man who has broken a bank? [shouting] >> ed miliband. >> i think we can take it from that answer -- i think we can take from that answer does want to talk about his planning minister. where is the planning minister? where is he today? only last january he was
praising him to the rafters saying he was leading the debate. i think the house should hear more from him. this is what he says about the tory party. people to work for private equity and make a ton of money. he's right, is in the? >> thank you we finally found a public inquiry he doesn't want. [shouting] he asked for inquiry after inquiry into the culture and practices of this and that but when it comes to the a lot of bank, he is frightened of it. now, also an interesting week to talk about people on the front bench. this week he has referred to his own shadow chancellor as a nightmare. [shouting] i'm sorry. i hate to say i told you so but i've been saying this for three years. [laughter] but actually that's not the most interesting thing in this fascinating exchange of e-mails. labour's had a strategy, yes, they do actually have one,
replied back to the shadow chancellor, when did it become part of our thing? i agree. their policies are not built to last. they are build to self-destruct in about five seconds. [shouting] >> thank you what is so -- what he is chose come principally today, he's shown coverage we did is he is has no answers on the cost of living crisis. that is the truth, and his close friend of the planning minister is right. he said -- >> order. the house must calm down. the questions will be heard. it's very simple. ed miliband. >> and his close friend the planning minister is right. he said this. there are many people who don't like the tory party and don't trust their motives. and he says the prime minister is not the man to reach them. what he is really saying is this prime minister is a loser. [shouting] >> what we want to -- what this
proves, mr. speaker, he can't ask about the economy because it's growing. he can't ask about the deficit because it's falling. he can't ask about the number of people in work because it's rising. he can't even ask about banking because he is mired in his own banking scandal. what we've learned, mr. speaker, in the last four nights, -- >> order. >> thank you what we've learned in the last fortnight, too weak to stand up to paymasters in the region, too weak to stand up to his bankers and too weak to stand up to the shadow chancellor. we all know the nightmare and that's why we're dedicated to making sure the british people don't have to live through it. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. my right honorable friend will recall -- [inaudible] which is now open for business but is he as appalled as i am --
[inaudible] isn't this more evidence unite cost of jobs, not states in the? >> i think the honorable lady is absolute right. visiting the london gateway port is one of the most compelling things i've seen in recent years about britain's industrial renaissance. it's an extraordinary investment. it would be huge benefit bringing around 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. she's right about the dangers of union intimidation and bullying tactics. that's important why we have a review and it's important both unite and the labour party take part in that review. >> i'm sure the prime minister will agree that the victims of terrorism deserve not just words of sympathy are true support and help, and must be at the core of any process dealing with the past in northern island. given the statement the very
worrying statement by the attorney general for northern ireland overnight -- [inaudible] and withou without consultations he agree there can no question of an amnesty for any terrorist atrocities and crimes and that all victims of terrorism deserve truth and justice the? >> first of all let me agree with what the honorable member said, which is the words of the northern island attorney general of that much his own words and not anybody else. i can reassure the government has no plans to legislate for an amnesty for crimes that were committed during the troubles. >> the general is meeting today. hopefully we'll find a way to enable women as soon as possible to be consecrated as officials in the church of england.
and if this is successful, will my right honorable friend and the government supports amendments to the bishops act to ensure that women bishops can be admitted to the house of lords as soon as possible, rather than having, women bishops having to queue up behind every existing diocesan bishop before we can sesay women bishops in parliame? >> prime minister? >> my friend policies matters closely and the question he asked is an important one. i strongly support women bishops and i hope the church of england takes this key step to ensure its place as a modern church in touch with our society. in terms of the problem that he raises because of course there's a seniority rule for bishops going into the house of lords, the government is ready to work with the church to see how getting women bishops into the house of lords can be achieved as soon as possible. >> does the prime minister believe that the proposal from the conservative enterprise group which is supported by 42
-- [inaudible] the truth is. >> i don't support that policy. >> will thank you, mr. speaker. i recently joined the plowing shares credit union in my constituency, which will help a number of people ensure a lot of people will not have to go to payday lenders. what more can the government do to encourage credit unions and to encourage anybody who has a few pounds to spare to put away to take the trade away from awful payday lenders? >> i'm grateful to my friend for raising this issue. the government strongly supports credit unions. i think they are very big part of the answer to the problems of payday lenders we've invested 38 million pounds in two credit unions. we want to see them expand.
we are also regulating properly for the first time payday lending through the new regulator and where prepared to look at all the steps that can be taken to sort this problem out. >> thanks, just bigger. today is universal's children's day. the prime minister be aware -- [inaudible] does the prime minister except. [inaudible] >> i would challenge the honorable members figures because the fact is whereas the pot of money for children's centers was to .3 billion in 2012-2013 them it's going up to 2.5 billion in 2014-15. there are 3000 children centers open. as i sick of only around 1% have close i think the government has an excellent record on this front. >> now with our changes have
been given a greenlight, not by politicians and bureaucrats as happened at the previous government by by those gps. in the prime minister confirm that they're getting increased primary care funding and the hospital is getting 24/7 access to urgent care? >> first of all let me pay tribute to my friend who i know has worked very hard on this for a difficult issue for his constituents. i understand the strategy has been approved, approved. and once implemented the hospital will provide a service which provides access to gps 24 hours a day seven days a week. there are increases in primary care funding and, of course, that is part of our plan not a have cutting the nhs but expanding our nhs spin will be prime minister join me in congratulating the good people of winning the city of culture 2017? >> i'm absolutely decided to join with the honorable
gentleman, and everyone around the country in celebrating this great award for the city of culture. i think it's a very exciting opportunity. i think you will be able to celebrate the first place. the fact that andrew lectured at their, was the librarian, slightly more, peter is the high sheriff, not every city has its burden to bear last night and, of course, in terms of popular music, they have a fantastic record. i remember some years ago that great house album which was -- because they said they were the fourth best band so i'm sure it will be a huge success. >> registered 600 new business startups last year. the top 10 placement in uk for new business rules. in preparation for small
business, with my right honorable friend meet with me to discuss a review of business rates to encourage future rules for special in london? >> i'm very happy to discuss this issue with my honorable friend who always stands up for business and for enterprise. she refers to the number of startups. i think it's a success story for our country, an extra 400,000 businesses now operating. my friend the enterprise edition will be telling the house about the 10,000 startup loans, a government scheme that's gone off the ground extended quickly. of course, there are concerns about business rates and i'm happy to discuss those with a. can i encourage all college to take part in our business saturday? is a brilliant initiative that work very well in the united states where it went into a state how much they care about small businesses. >> does the prime minister to agree that this planning minister that when modern britain looks at certain parts
they see an old-fashioned monolith? >> i have to say with some we he interesting interventions from front bench is passing president i hope my great records -- remember him, the formerly the security minister singh this, the public is desperate for -- speaks to them, not a leader of the opposition intelligent in partisan references knockabout. no. i would stay up with a tweets if you want to get on the right side of this one. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. [inaudible] who. spent i want to the words. at the moment i can't do them. >> i will repeat my declaration. i refer the house to the interest as a reason return for the delegation to israel.
on both the israeli streets and in the corridor of this done, iran remains that one issue of concern. the vice president visited earlier this week to discuss this matter with the israeli counterpart. and appears to understand israel's legitimate concern. when will our prime minister visit israel, our closest democratic ally in the region to discuss the iranian nuclear issue and other regional concerns? >> first of all can i thank the honorable gentleman for his questioner i know that many people in his constituency to get people about this issue and think about the future visual. i will never forget the visit i made to the lead of the opposition i look forward to visiting i hope next year but i completely understand -- when i went to israel i also visited not only occupied eastern jerusalem but other place in palestine as well as is proper. i do understand the very real concern that israelis have about the iranian nuclear weapon. that is what i spoke to
president rouhani of iran last night to make clear that we want a good outcome to the -- that's got to be an outcome that takes iran further away from a nuclear weapon rather than one that retains the status quo. >> whilst agreeing with the members from belfast north that they should be no question of amnesty, surely there is some malice in the proposal from the northern ireland attorney general, but rather that entering enormous expenditure and effort pursuing crimes committed during the troubles, decades ago, where the evidence is difficult if not impossible to establish, to justify grievances of victims including widows of police officers and prison officers should be addressed in other ways so that northern ireland can move on from its hideous past. >> i have great respect for the gentleman's views on this issue to he served in northern ireland. he knows how important these issues are. first of all, i do think it's important to allow -- about
parades, flags and the giddy with the path. clearly the duty with the past part is most difficult of the three and the most difficult to unlock. the second point i would make is we are all democrats to believe in the rule of law, believe in the it dependence of the police and prosecuting authorities, and they should if they're able to the able to bring cases and i think it's a dangerous to think you can put some sort of block on that but, of course, we are interesting ways in which people can reconcile and come to terms with the bloody past so they can build a viable future and should future for northern ireland. >> is the people and the businesses of suffolk are driving economic growth in the east of england. but they are increasingly fearful that the proposed a 14 road will put suffolk as -- at jesus competitive disadvantage compared to other counties. could ask my right honorable friend if he was usually
reconsider the current road proposal? >> i welcome and another chancellor will, i'll listen carefully to the representatives made by suffolk m.p. and i think we've all received representation. i think the important point is we want new roads to be built and we all know that our shortages in terms of the capital expenditure that we can bring forward. and that's why think the idea of having holding -- holding is an idea that is probably worth looking at. [inaudible] forcing many of them back to the death of a child. will the prime minister commit to them in the unemployment rate act of 1996 to give british parents the legal right?
>> i think the honorable gentleman raises a very important issue and a very happy to look at that. having suffered this experience myself, as a member of parliament actually it's possible to take a little bit of time and stand back and come to terms with what's happened because colleagues and people that help you are ready to step in and do what they can so i think he raises a very important point. i will get back to him spent close question. spent number 10, mr. speaker, spend as i told my friend when last asked about this issue, if we want a proper function deterrent when it have the best and that means a permanent at the sobering based posture and that is what a conservative only government after the next election will deliver. >> dr. julian lewis. >> may i reassure my right on the front that that excellent accidents -- and will remain on my website for as long as it takes for the pledge to be fulfilled. i notice he used the word conservative only people he reassured the house that never
again will liberal democrats be allowed to obstruct or delay the signing of the main gate contract? and will he undertake to sign those products at the first possible opportunity? >> what i would say to them, a couple of things. first of all, investment in our nuclear deterrent has not ceased. we are taking all the necessary steps to make that decision possible. also we've had the alternative of study which i don't think came up with a convincing answer but i have to say, mr. speaker, i feel i wouldn't satisfy and how my honorable friend even if i gave him a nuclear submarine to park off the coast of his constituency. [laughter] >> i rather fear that's true. [laughter] having known the honorable friend for 30 years. >> is the prime minister aware that according to the economist, britain is now 150 night the
lowest in the world in terms of business investment, just behind molly, paraguay and guatemala? >> candy therefore please tell us -- candy therefore please tell the house when, under his esteemed leadership, and that of the chancellor, now is expected to catch up with mali? >> i can only conclude that the right honorable gentleman has spent a night out on down with reference laws. and mind altering x-out taken effect. [shouting] the fact is in the first six-month of this year, britain has received more investment, more investment than any other country anywhere in the world. [shouting] >> mr. stephen o'brien. >> thank you, mr. speaker. has my right honorable friend taking the advice of the party opposite?
will be the effects on the cost of fuel and the consequences this would've had on families? >> might right honorable friend makes an important void. it is done if you look at the cuts and freezes in fuel duties that we have made, fuel duty would be 13p higher under labour's plan to our plans but it would. to use a simple word it would be a night -- a nightmare. >> thank you, mr. speaker. his own education department says it has close 578 children's centers. how is this protecting sure start? >> i'm afraid i gave them the figures but he wants to alter his question and think on his secret the fact is there are 3000 such centers open and around 1% have closed. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. [inaudible] in my constituent has invested 10 million pounds, grading lots
of jobs. the oecd has upgraded -- while downgrading global forecast. [inaudible] reducing debt is the way to actually get the economy moving, not acting -- adding more debt from the party opposite? >> i'm grateful or my honorable friend and what he says. if you look at the oecd forecast out of this week on you see a massive increase in the forecast for uk, uk growth over the next couple of years. and, of course, the party opposite don't want to talk about the economy. because they told us we were going to lose a million jobs. regained the million jobs. they told us growth would be choked off. growth is growing in britain. that's what's happening. the nightmare of the shadow chancellor -- [shouting] and when it comes to debt, let me remind them of this important point. this important point. this is directly relevant to the
issue of debt. gordon brown was borrowing 20 oh 10 pounds a year, the height of the boom in the first negative caching or to avoid having to increase taxes because he wanted to increase public spending. it was an act of cowardice. that is if you like -- we're also hearing ranting from the nightmare. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. [shouting] >> the house -- [shouting] [laughter] >> order, order. the honorable lady -- [laughter] -- has a right to put her
question and to be heard when she does so. and that's what's going to happen. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the housing association recently voted chief executive noncontractual redundancy payout of 397,000 pounds. will be prime minister toynbee asking for it to be repaid and invested in much-needed other areas of? >> i'm very happy to look at the case the honorable lady mentions because some of these are completely unacceptable. we need to make sure that local authorities properly take responsibility for stopping such high payouts. in terms of other parts of the economy we are making sure that if people are reemployed having taken these they ask, then they have to pay back the money and i think it's vitally important. it might apply in this case, t too.
>> does my right honorable friend of korea that a key element of the success of the plan for the reserves would be if my right honorable friend could join together with the leader of the opposition and inspire employers that the success of this plan, because there is no plan b, is in the national interest? >> i completely agree with my right honorable friend but i think this is important program for the future of the country. of course, i understand honorable members and right honorable members concerns about this. but if we pass the amendment in the name of the honorable member, that would simply stop us investing in our reserves and improving our reserves rather than changing the overall stunt. labour put out a statement today, they put out a statement today saying we are not calling for the reforms to be reversed. were not saying the reforms should be shelved. in that case if they vote against the government one could only assume it's naked
opportunism. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can the prime minister explain to this house why he wanted to schmidt. [inaudible] from the conservative party website? >> what we promise is we wouldn't have the nhs and we haven't cut the nhs. we made absolutely clear before the last election we would have to take difficult decisions, but it's because of those difficult decisions the deficit is coming down, employment is growing, there are a million more people in work. our economy is doing better, and if we followed the advice of the party opposite we got more spending, more borrowing to more debt. all the things that got this country into the mess in the first place. >> order. point of order. mr. michael mecham. >> mr. speaker, as you have heard and as anyone else in the house heard, --
>> we believe the british house of commons now as we move on to other legislative business. you've been watching prime minister's question time aired live wednesdays at 7 a.m. eastern while parliament is in session. you can see this weeks questions and again sunday night at nine eastern and pacific on c-span. and for information go to c-span.org and click on c-span's spirit -- series. you can also watch recent video, putting programs dealing with other international issues. >> a typical day again with her coming in in the morning probably around 9:00 and she would come in toting a straw bag in each and filled with some the things you see on her desk that she had taken home for signing or speechwriting or event planning, whatever she was working on. she would come in and get to work.
her desk was always very orderly. and that she worked on her desk with letters that she was processing, when she completed things you put them on the floor. she left this office because she could look out at her alma mater and then through to the capital. and the city she loves so much. we have three office staff at the time to quit it for someone who handled her calendar. we had a person who came from the white house after press secretary who helped to work on speeches and then i was in the office. by friday afternoon she was regulate and go to the ranch, which she really called home. and at about 3:30 p.m. she was said like anything else to do? if the answer was no. she would they tell the secret service i'm ready to go. >> watch your program on first lady lady bird johnson on our website c-span.org/firstladies. or see it saturday on c-span at 7 p.m. eastern him and our series continues life monday as a look at first lady pat nixon.
>> now, a panel investigates the use response to typhoon haiyan in the philippines that hit earlier this month. officials from the state department and usaid testified at this one our senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing. >> or grou[inaudible conversati] >> good morning or i want to welcome you all to the subcommittee on east asia and pacific on the senate foreign relations committee and let me thank chairman menendez for allowing us to conduct this subcommittee hearing on such short notice. senator rubio, thank you very much for your help and your staffs help in arranging this hearing in record time. when they say the senate can act
quickly we did act quickly on putting this thing together at a very much appreciate that. all the people who worked to make this possible. to ambassador, nice to see again. we're together again yesterday. billy, the filipino ambassador to the united states is a friend and has been unhelpful to us. charlie after the typhoon we had a chance to talk and at that time i expressed our deep condolences to the loss of life as a result of the typhoon and america's interest to exercise leadership internationally in assisting the filipinos in the recovery, saving lives and dealing with the restorations that are going to be necessary for the people of the philippines. the tragic typhoon yolande was horrible, tragic. the numbers that we have come
yesterday, as of yesterday from usaid indicates that over 10 million people were affected, were close to 4000 confirmed deaths today. that number will certainly change, unfortunately. 4 million people have been displaced. 571,000 plus homes were damaged or destroyed by the typhoon, and the u.n. humanitarian action puts the emergency response humanitarian dollar at over $300 million. and i know that that is just an estimate. it could very well exceed those numbers, and, obviously, presents a real challenge. i wanted to also acknowledge the senator is with us today representing the state of hawaii. he's not a member of our committee but he has been deeply concerned about this issue. many filipino americans live in hawaii, and i know that he has
been very actively engaged, and we welcome you to this hearing. the philippines is close ally to the trendy. i may not tell that to the people in this room, you know the sacrifices they endured during world war ii. their incredible strategic partnership with the united states. it is a very important partner in the united states and, obviously, we are concerned about humanitarian needs anywhere, but when it hits one of our friends, it's of particular concern to the united states. the response has been led by the philippine government, as it should, and they recognize immediately that they needed help. and the united states responded even before the typhoon struck by positioning resources, knowing that it may well have been needed. in fact, it was needed. i am proud the u.s. leadership of committing $20 million in aid. usaid disaster assistance response team is on the ground.
we appreciate that very much. department of defense is mobilize in the region, and the state department has been engaged. so there's been a u.s. response with the international community to assist the philippine government, the immediate needs have been in the area food, water, medicine and logistics. the long commute are going to be the rebuilding of the affected areas. and clearly, that will become a challenge for the philippine islands and for the help of the international community. it's personal to many people in america. we have 4 million americans of filipino descent that live in america. in my own state of maryland we have 26,000, and yesterday with the ambassadors assistance, and jeremy, with your help, we met with representatives of the filipino community in maryland. and they are obviously very anxious because they have relatives and friends that were
directly impacted and they are worried about their well being. they also are frustrated because they want to help, and how can they help. that's a question that we're going to try to focus on during this hearing, is how can individuals help in the response effort, what is the best way to do it. i thought the meeting was particularly helpful but it was clear to me that we have to keep a focus on what is happening, and that brings me to this hearing, the purpose of courses to get an update as to where the circumstances exist today in the philippines, what is the government doing, what is the international response to what role america is playing on this latest humanitarian need. with that let me turn it over to senator rubio for his comments. >> mr. chairman, thank you for holding this time again. over the past week our hearts have been broken by the news and images that been coming out of the philippines, the our entire towns and villages and, of course, the lives of real people have been ruined. thousands of human beings are
dead and the toll continues to rise every day. it's times like these we are reminded how important and engaged america's for the world, especially for allies like the philippines. we as a nation have pledged to provide the filipino people with humanitarian assistance and to put some of our brave men and women in uniform to assist. as of yesterday's front page of florida today, a newspaper in florida, a newspaper in my state, there ran a story the sums up what impact were having with goodwill. so in addition to being the right thing morally, this as a foreign policy application for our country. let me tell you what it says. u.s. military, a godsend for typhoon victims. they are saving us. says one grateful victim. as americans this is what we have always done as a people. this is who we still are. contrast that with beijing whose initial pledge was $100,000. $100,000. just a fraction of what was committed by other countries, a
fraction of their size. they have of course increased that pledge now the 1.6 million in u.s. dollars, again, still dwarfed by what china can and cannot do. it's a separate conversation to be had but a point why it's so important u.s. remain so engaged. our assistance is not just limited to what our governments can do. american society, nonprofits at the american red cross and faith-based organizations like the tim tebow foundation have stepped up to help americans turn their desire to help into action. this includes many floridians of filipino descent who have expressed a number of concerns i will address in my questions later on. and as the chairman has already pointed out, americans of filipino descent are a significant part of a country involved in every aspect of our lives. my own staff has family in the philippines and so this is an issue that reaches all of us. as a nation we all know too well about the tragedies of natural disasters can cause. we know about how to save lives and help ensure much-needed
food, water and supplies reach the people we needed most. we know about the resilience of the human spirit. our example, our assistance and our prayers are needed today more than ever. by our allies in the philippines because this is simply who we are as a people. this is who we are and have been and continue to be as americans. in return the american people as taxpayers, terrible donors can expect is to assure this assistance does what it is intended to do and riches whom it is intended to reach. we recognize nothing does more to undermine america's willingness to other nations in time of need dancing and scrupulous actors filling the void left in the wake of natural disasters and exploiting the moment. it's important to ensure that does not happen as well. i look for to learn more about the administration's plan to ensure our response to the climate in the philippines is swift and transparent and effective. i thank you, mr. chairman for making this a priority.
>> we also recognize senator flake who is on the subcommittee. nice to have you. thank you for being here. i'm going to turn toward to witnesses at this point. first the honorable scot marciel, principal deputy assistant secretary department of state bureau of east asia and pacific affairs. scot marciel began his term as principal deputy assistant secretary in august 2013 after serving a three years as a u.s. ambassador to the republic of indonesia. he has previously served as the assistant secretary east asia pacific ar are responsible for relationship with south east asia and the ambassador for the ac on affairs, deputy assistant secretary. music remember of the senior foreign service and joined the state department in 1985. we thank you very much for your long, distinguished career in public service. second witness will be jeremy konyndyk, the director of usaid's office of foreign disaster assistance who has
delayed his trip to the philippines to be here today. we thank you very much and i very much appreciate the fact that you traveled all the way to maryland yesterday to be with me and the filipino community in maryland. i thought that was very helpful, and i was very impressed by the court native efforts that you've undertaken on behalf of of usaid. we'll start with mr. marcel >> thank you mr. chairman, senator rubio, and other members of the subcommittee for giving me this opportunity to testify on the u.s. government's response to super typhoo >> yolanda, which struck the philippines on november 8. the typhoon, one of the largest and strongest in history, struck the central philippines from the east, and carved a swath of destruction across the middle of the country. hardest hit were leyte, site of general macarthur's return to the philippines in 1944, samar, and a series of other islands. the typhoon's incredible winds,
plus a major storm surge, killed an estimated 4000 people, left hundreds of thousands of others homeless, and devastated cities, towns, villages, and the region's infrastructure. even before the storm hit, u.s. government agencies began preparing to respond. usaid prepositioned a team in manila, our embassy in manila issued a message warning american citizens of the storm, and many of us in washington began to communicate and coordinate in preparation for a potential disaster. once the storm hit, the state department, usaid's office of foreign disaster assistance, the pentagon, and the pacific command, working closely with the u.s. embassy in manila, began a period of intensive communication and coordination to ensure a swift and effective and transparent response. usaid and pacom disaster assistance teams headed to
pok lovin -- there was an immediate agreement throughout the administration at all levels on the need for a rapid, effective response from both because of the scale of the disaster and because as you said, mr. chairman, because the filipinos are longtime friends and allies of the united states. so jimmy is going to describe in detail the efforts on the ground. but i would like to do is highlight that the u.s. government's response has been rapid, well coordinated and substantial. within a few days of the disasters use a jihad announced $21 in the mentoring assistance and just a few days ago announced an additional $10 million in assistance. so as of yesterday, u.s. government assistance in response to the disaster totaled $37 million. that includes $7 million from
defense department funds. our military as you know has deployed substantial assets to assist and with the help of usaid, colleagues and u.s. military on the ground our assistance is reaching people in the affected areas and it's making a difference. and, of course, u.s. companies foundations and private citizens are also contributing. president obama and secretary of state kerry have called the philippine counterparts to offer condolences and assistance and to stress her commitment to helping the philippines responded to and recover from this disaster. at the state department we set up a crisis response task force to monitor government to try to identify obstacles to effective relief supplies make sure we were well courtney. as both deal with calls, a lot of calls from concerned american citizen. our embassy in manila has also played an important role. it has served as a platform for our nation were all the agencies working through the to coordinate with philippine authorities and private organizations as well.
the state department and innocent a special responsibility for helping american citizens caught up in this disaster. that are now five confirmed americans deaths caused by the typhoon. the state department indiana's evan working pretty much around the clock to assist the families of those victims. but also have received nearly 1000 requests for information from u.s. citizens or on your citizens in the disaster area and relocated almost 500, 475 american citizens through our efforts. our counselor officers from the embassy are visiting tacloban in the area around it pretty regulate to try to help out with those american citizens services. we continue to work closely with philippine authorities making sure to address the needs security concerns. concerns. again, identifying obstacles to relief and asking them constantly what more they need so that our response is effective and targeted. president obama told president
aquino during a november 12 phone call that the united states was fully committed to a swift and coordinated response to help the people of the philippines recover and that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the philippines, our treaty ally. mr. chairman, senator rubio, other members, thank you again for allowing me to appear. i would be delighted to answer any questions. and you spent thank you very much. mr. konyndyk. >> thank you, chairman cardin. thank you ranking member rubio and thank you also for joining us senator flake and sender shots. and thank the invitation to desolate on ongoing u.s. government response to typhoon haiyan known locally as typhoon yolanda. and over much for your continued support of u.s. veterans programs around the world everyday as a doing currently in the philippines are saving many lives. chairman cardin, want to thank his will for the invitation to visit yesterday in the event.
it was very enjoyable and it's good to see the energy that exists in the filipino americans men and their deep, deep commitment to helping with the response to this. super typhoon haiyan was one the most powerful storms ever to make landfall and the government of the philippines estimates that around 10 million people have been effective of them 4 million have been displaced from their homes and roughly 4000 deaths have so far been confirmed. the devastation and loss of life is staggering, and i want to express my deepest condolences and, of course, only half of usaid our deepest condolences to the people of the philippines. and for these horrific losses. in the face of this disaster the us government has mobilized the full range of our humanitarian response capabilities. my office, the office of foreign disaster assistance at usaid, is mandated direct and coordinate that overall humanitarian effort
in close partnership with our military, state department and and range of other interagency colleagues. i have to say that the collaboration and cooperation we've seen across has been exemplary and we've seen tremendous collaboration and coordination oath here in washington and in the philippines. before the storm hit, the u.s. response was already beginning. our experts identify the severity of the storm and we pre-deployed disaster assistance advance team in manila. that team was on the ground almost immediately after the storm passed through and was beginning to assess damage and send back reports assistance priorities. and week rapidly stood up a response management team back in d.c. as one started sending people out to the philippines. we have been working hand in glove with the department of defense pacific command which has proved absolutely critical. award enormous logistic constraints that we faced in the
first days after the storm and the dod involvement has been vital to getting those obstacles cleared and enabling the initial eight effort to gain momentum. as scott said, we have mobilized no across the us government more than $37 in assistance to a typhoon affected populations. and while much still remains to be done we are beginning to see some notable progress. several days ago, usaid partnership with support from dod got the water turned back on in the city of tacloban restoring clean water to roughly 200,000 people in that town. that was a major coalition. dod has so far transported more than 1000 metric tons of relief commodities to communities throughout the affected areas. usaid's food for peace program in partnership with the government and the world food program has provided with the backbone of support to a joint food response that so far has
had 1.9 million people. going forward we are seeing a range of different needs. and i'll go through those quickly and then turn it over for questions. ilogistics, that will remain a challenge. it's been a major challenge as a think about is what we've seen real progress in clearing the blocked roads, restoration of airport services and notably in the past few days, restoration of ferry services to enable much greater scale of a to reach affected areas. we are seeing improvements here, but it's still and will remain a major focus. to remain a major focus. winces the 2.5 million people will require emergency food aid over the next six month. u.s.a. the has so far provided $10 million in food support that is working with the world food program and in particular, i want to emphasize the importance of flexible cash programs for food aid in this instance. were able using some the flexibility congress granted us to park your 2500 metric tons of
rice on the local markets in the philippines for immediate education. this was much faster than would've been possible using traditional food aid tools so that has really helped enhance the response. we are focusing quite a lot on water. as mentioned earlier we helped get the water turned back on and tacloban city and looking ahead, we are continuing to source generators for water pumping stations to provide chlorine tablets for household level treatment of water, and chlorine for large-scale treatment as was family water containers for transport of clean water. shelters remains an urgent priority as well, and and a senator cardin, you've seen the emergency shelters kids that we are currently disturbing. and we will have distributed in the of those are about 30,000 families in need. i wanted to conclude quickly and i say i'm over time. we are looking ahead to the early recovery process. we are trying to plant on that
and i want to just call specific attention akin to the important contributions of the filipino american community in the united states. we are looking for ways to partner with them. were setting up some mechanism for that and they will be a credible piece of that response going forward. that you spent thanks, both you, for your testimony. and 50 for updating the dollar amount from the original 20 million. now we are close to double that as far as the direct support that we have given. i very much appreciate your testimony. senator rubio pointed out pretty clearly come into his leadership, what that's all about and the fact that but for u.s. leadership in the international partnership could not be as strong with the government of the philippine islands. so we are proud of what we've been able to do. our technology in dealing with these crises, we know. i was impressed by the temperate shelters. they are pretty simple but they to protect people from the elements and allow for international assistance or
local assistance to provide a more permanent type of housing for individuals who are left homeless. these high energy bars are interesting. i don't know whether i would -- they are not on my diet. i see that. the number of calories that are included in these high energy bars, but they are efficient. they keep people alive. people were desperate immediately after the typhoon. they didn't have food. there was no place to get food. so to be able to distribute these type of high energy bars so that they could get through the day with enough calories to survive was critical and we have the expertise here -- this is by the way, nine bars included in this. we know how to get this type of substance out. and i applaud the u.s. leadership. then on the logistics, i really do think our department of defense. they understand how to get the
people who have been isolated, and to get a better assessment. let me just point out one other obvious point here. most of the time it was done on the coast and that's what we saw. we could reach the coast. we could not reach those communities that were isolated from the coast, so, therefore, at least initially there wasn't a good understanding as to the severity of the damage inland. do we now have some indication as to whether there's going to be additional, significant losses as a result of reaching people that we were able to reach originally? >> thank you, senator. we did initially focus on the coast. we also did initial over land and overflight assessments in some of the inland areas as well working with our dod college. our initial assessment was that the coastal areas where the worst affected and so that was the first priority for focus. as that situation has started to
stabilize may be too strong a word, but let's ahead in the direction of stabilizing, we have also began looking further afield in partnership with the government philippine colleagues to try to reach some of those inland areas. i would emphasize as well that our initial prioritization also reflected what we've been given by the filipino government. we were talking to mayors and governors from the affected provinces to get their input on where they would advise we focus first. so we follow that guidance fairly closely. .. guidance fairly closely. we are getting better visibility what is the situation inland. while the loss of life is less because they did not face the storm surge, there is significant damage, two structures and two crops. that is a focus going forward. we are gathering more and more information. >> thank you. the question that is frequently asked is how well is the help
being coordinated? the catholic relief services located in my state of maryland, we are proud of the role they played. they have a natural alliance and are well represented in the philippines. they mobilized to help in regard to their international humanitari the internatiol governmental responses and the ngo responses and, how that is coming together? >> absolutely. first important to emphasize the bought the philippines is in the lead. we have worked with them for good news bad news story on one hand. we're there five or six times a year responding to disasters. the bad news we're there five or six times a year. we have a long-standing relationship with the natural disaster authorities there. we work very well together. they are in the lead. they have been providingto
invaluable information on priorities and needs. the u.n. activated called the cluster system, which is globally recognized system for coordinating response across the united nations ngos and humanitarian actors. humanitarian actors. that is co-led with the government of the philippines. they are directly integrated into that. we are working very closely with that. and within the u.s. government doing nightly interagency calls and a variety of other mechanisms to make sure that we have our own house in order. it's been going fairly well so far as more and more ngos come in it will become a greater challenge. >> does the government of the philippines coordinate the capacities of the ngos and the need, the capacities of participating international partners as well as their own cash requirements? is that balanced together?
>> yeah. their involvement in those cluster coordination meetings so you have a meeting on health every day, water every day. government of philippines is involved in those and able to hear what ngos capacities are available, what their plans are, provide feedback on that and feedback on priorities in addition to its own activities. >> there are 4 million americans plus with filipino heritage. there is strong compassion among the american people to be engaged. people want to help. i think that's true internationally, but particularly true here in america. is there any advice you can give americans who may want to participate in the relief effort as to how they can best interact to the coordinated efforts? >> absolutely. our general advice has always, the best way to support in the early response is to give cash. it is the most efficient way to
give cash to a reputable organization they trust is best way to get assistance in. it often costs more to ship from the u.s. than value of the assistance itself. it's more efficient and quicker to provide cash assistance to groups like we met yesterday at the round table meeting. for more information there is cidi.org, center for international organization. they have a lot of information there on how to give effectively in this kind of situation. >> if i could add, mr. chairman, both usaid and state have been in touch with major philippine/american associations, briefing them on what we are doing and talking about ways they can help.
there will be a lot of work to do, recovery, reconstruction. it's still early days, but talking to philippine american associations, u.s. foundations, u.s. businesses about how going further down the road they can contribute. this is going to be a long-term effort with a lot of coordination. >> thank you. if americans want to check on the status of relatives and friends, how do they do that if they cannot make direct connections? >> mr. chairman, the embassy and usaid have been focused on american citizens. as a priority for us. so we have a system set up through our own task force where people who have been able to call in or e-mail in, talk to people and working with our embassy, we've been able to track down about almost 475
americans in response. for people looking to try to track down nonamerican citizens, filipino nationals, it's a little bit harder just given the numbers. we encouraged them to talk to contact philippine authorities, the red cross in the philippines can also help. philippine red cross has a website for families that families can reach out to directly. or friends to try to help locate filipino citizens. >> we know this is going to be a long term project dealing with the immediate individuals still in harm's way and looking at how the united states properly can assist in dealing with the long-term needs. we appreciate you keeping this committee informed as to the status and how you see the needs and the role that the united states should consider playing. senator rubio? >> thank you.
i heard from a lot of people in florida who are desperate to hear from loved ones as well as provide a helping hand during the relief and recovery operations. for example, a resident of jacksonville last spoke to her parents five minutes before they were evacuating and she hasn't heard since. she hasn't slept for five days. what advice do we have for people in this circumstance trying to reach loved ones in the philippines? i imagine it's still logistically difficult. do we have any advice would you say i should be giving people in regard to that? >> senator, i wish there was an easy answer. if they are philippine citizens missing or who haven't been heard from in the philippines, going to the philippine red cross website where you can make inquiries, as well as contacting philippine authorities who are in a long effort to try to make
sure everybody is found, germ why i could speak to the communications because i think one of the problems is cell phone connections were lost. that will be key to getting that going again. >> absolutely. thank you, senator. the communications infrastructure, especially in the coastal areas was ravaged by the storm. it is slowly returning and there is 3g coverage. it's spotty, but it's there. we are seeing that slowly restored. i know the philippines embassy here has set up some mechanisms for citizens to check up on their relatives in the philippines and can be a hub for information on that. they can be directed there, as well. >> we heard from several organizations, the filipino american association of southwest florida and cape coral, council for filipino american organizations, they are looking for ways to help in the relief and recovery efforts. what advice do we give them
streamlining their efforts to make sure it reaches the intended beneficiaries as quickly and aif is si as possible? efficiently as possible? >> if they are filipino american groups, i imagine they have very good connections with communities there in the philippines. that's often one of the best protections. you want to make sure any group you're supporting actually has a footprint that is relevant to the nature of the crisis. i would imagine that many filipino american organizations will have links to community groups in the philippines that would have that kind of a footprint. i would underscore it's always best in this kind of a situation to support them with cash. not only is that more efficient, but also helps support the recovery of local markets. if we bring in, groups bring in a lot of in kind supplies, those supplies are not being bought in the philippines and not ending up in the philippines economy. those would be a couple. there's a lot more on the website. >> i think you answered this before, but what is the federal agency in our government that
has the lead and convening power in terms of our relief efforts. >> that's my office. we have under the foreign assistance act authority delegated to the president which is delegated to usaid as the lead federal coordinator on international disaster response. we have been coordinating, we work with the military to evaluate requests and work with them to help steer their effort towards where it is the most value and working closely with the state department and other interagency on that coordination. >> one of the things we've seen in the past from humanitarian crisis in places like the earthquake in haiti, children displaced become potential victims of trafficking and things of this nature. is that part of our response efforts? some estimates are 2 million children have been affected. what are the steps we are thinking about or who is thinking about things we can do to reduce the risk of abuse in
trafficking and things like that? we've seen that in the past. >> absolutely that is a serious concern. i know that that talks more to the trafficking in particular. on the usaid side we sent a protection advisor to look into actually this set of issues. we have been in all our partnerships ensuring that we do a technical review of those that takes those issues into account and make sure nothing any of our partners are doing could be supporting or enabling that and going forward we are going to look into more specific program options to ensure that is addressed. >> my last question is more on the geo political realm, but critical long term as we go to the american people and justify our ability. if you look at this as a multifaceted response, it has a
military component in terms of being able to deliver aid and so forth and calls attention to why our military serves a purpose well beyond conducting warfare. the principle objective is to provide for national security but has logistical capabilities unrivalled and unwatched anywhere in the world. in contrast is the chinese response to this has been so limited, at best. there's all kinds of speculation as to why. what has been the perception of that. has that been noticed the chinese are not there? they do have an aid ship, i think it's called the peace arc. a hospital ship they have not deployed. what is the perception as to why the chinese have not jumped out and and participated more robustly in response to a crisis in their region? >> senator, that is a good question. i would say i absolutely agree with you that we responded fully
to this crisis for humanitarian reasons. but i think it has shown reenforced in the minds of the filipino people that we're a long time and good partner that they can depend on. i think more broadly throughout the region has highlighted what we've been saying throughout the region that the u.s. military, as you said, in addition to being an unmatched fighting force, also brings unmatched logistical capabilities. which they use, unfortunately have to use quite often in the region for disaster response. i think that's gone widely noticed. i wouldn't want to speculate on why the chinese have responded the way they have. i do know at some point philippine authorities suggested there was no need for further
medical equipment and support, whether that played a role on the hospital ship not coming, i'm not sure. i think the more important point from our perspective is by doing the right thing, we've seen seen in the region as doing the right thing. >> well, just my editorial comment to close, and i don't expect you to respond to it, but we have this debate going on in this country how engaged the u.s. needs to be around the world diplomatically in aid programs, and of course militarily with our presence. this is an example what would happen if the u.s. did retreat from the global stage. there is no substitute from the united states as the people of the philippines would probably agree seeing the response we are giving. as far as the chinese are concerned, all this talk about containing china, that is not our goal. we would love to see the peaceful rise of china. we would like to see them assume what leadership nations do around the globe. this is an example of chinese foreign policy. it's a one-way street. if you can go into these countries and do everything they
want you to do, they respond with cash systems. they have territorial disputes with the philippines which the philippines are right on and the chinese are wrong on. you see the result when you have a humanitarian crisis, the chinese are less than willing to respond. compare that to the united states which consistently has been willing to put aside whatever political differences we may have when a humanitarian crisis strikes. we saw it in pakistan, haiti, here and other places, including japan, of course a very close ally. this is a graphic example of imagine a world without an engaged united states. this response effort would not be at the stage it's at right now. it's obviously the right thing to do, but calls attention to how important we remain engaged not just in this region but around the world. thank you both for your service. >> senator rubio, thank you for your comments. senator flake.
>> with regard to chinese involvement, there are also issues they have disputes with philippines in the south china sea. how much has that played, do you think, in their inability or unwillingness to help out? >> senator, it's a good question. the disputes between china and the philippines over maritime boundaries in particular is well known. i don't want to try to speak for the chinese government because i don't know how much that affected their response. certainly the disputes have been getting a lot of attention and something we pay a lot of attention to, as well. >> we heard mostly about the efforts in taclaban. can you talk about efforts in some of the other provinces, islands, what is the u.s. doing? >> absolutely. the storm first made halandfalln
the far east. continued along through the central philippines onward across the northern tip of the island sabu. it had weakened at that time. the worst damage is in that north and central. after that it's bad, but it was not, we didn't see the ferocious storm surge. the u.s. military working in partnership with usaid has been delivering aid shipments all over that, all over those coastal areas. there is a great map. i don't have it with me, but we can make sure you get it, that the marine units did showing
where they did all those air drops, sorry, all those deliveries, excuse me. there are dots all over that coast. all over the coastal areas. now we are starting to look into the inland areas which suffered wind and rain damage but not the storm surge. >> the world bank made loans available or will make loans available for better buildings, more storm resistant infrastructure there. is the philippine government able to take advantage of this? >> in the face of a storm surge like we saw there, there is only so much you can do. we saw that here with hurricane sandy a few years ago. that is ferocious force. with that said, the building, improved buildings and whole range of natural disaster risk
reduction activities, have been you say partnership with the government of the philippines and world bank for some time, i imagine that will be a focus going forward. i would expect any tool that is appropriate to that context will be used. >> if i could add quickly, i think per jeremy's point, the philippine government did a lot to prepare for this storm because they had a little warning. i think they evacuated almost 800,000 people, in the sense of bringing them to shelters. again, not anticipating, none of us anticipated the storm surge which caused a lot of the damage and probably a lot of the deaths. and since the storm, has done a good job facilitating not only ours but international assistance. i think they deserve a lot of credit for that. >> first responsibility the u.s.
government to make sure u.s. citizens living there are taken care of. i want to commend the u.s. government response in that regard. i have family members who are there serving mormon missions and there was a situation in tacloban with missionaries who were brought to safety in manila by a c-130 flying out of tacloban. they endured a lot. gratefully, all were saved. the u.s. government helped a great deal in that regard. were you aware of that? >> i wasn't aware of that particular case. i am aware the u.s. military did transport a number of american citizens, i think 123, if i remember correctly. i'll double check that number from tacloban to manila or sabu. >> as well as a lot of
filipinos. >> senator schott is not a member of the committee but we give him questions through the chair. >> thank you for your indulgence. mr. ambassador, our condolences and appreciation for all your good work. director konyndyk, could you take us through the recovery phase and best-case scenario from recovery standpoint and worst-case scenario and what resources american and international private, not for profit need to be put together so we can avoid the worst-case scenario? >> absolutely. thank you for that question. first, obviously there is only so much we can speculate because there is still a lot we don't know. we are gathering a lot of information. we are heavily focused on ensuring we get the relief
response right. that has been the intense focus the past ten days. we are thinking now about the longer term and what that will look like. i will be traveling out tomorrow. that's going to be a major focus of my trip is exploring more of that. we know some things now. we know, for example, obviously transitional shelter will be an enormous priority. we are providing emergency shelter materials right now, heavy duty plastic sheeting that was shown earlier. that can get period a certain period but obviously not a long-term solution. rubble clearance will be a significant challenge. we are talking with the military about whether the u.s. military can play a role in that. that is obviously a significant policy question for the government of the philippines, as well. we know as well things like agriculture will be very, very important to focus on. a number of important agricultural crops were wiped out by this storm. there is an agricultural area
coconut farming, rice farming. we are going to be moving swiftly coordinating with the usaid development commission in the philippines to address early recovery needs and make sure there are not deficits there. there is a robust development mission that the u.s. has in the philippines. they will be prioritizing the response in the coming six to nine months. >> i think it's been established that the united states response has been robust, has been well coordinated and has exceeded the response of any other country. my question for you is scale. certainly what we are doing is a lot. are we anywhere near dealing with the consequence management piece of this before we move into recovery? the response is no doubt robust, but is it enough? how much more will we need to do in order to wrap our arms around
this problem in the next several weeks? >> i think the u.s. role so far has been crucial getting aid in but has been crucial setting the foundation for a much broader aid effort. clearing out initial logistical problems and with the government in the philippines, we enabled a much broader aid response without that partnership between usaid, state department and department of defense would not have been possible. in terms of resource avail bu t availabili availability, we are getting more clarity on that. australia put in a substantial amount. i think that the total committed, the u.n. asked for $300 million for the initial response. as of yesterday, there is about 55% that had been committed for this point in a crisis within a few days of the appeal watching is generally considered to be a good figure. that figure is not based on a
huge amount of evidence because it came out early. there is a lot more examination ongoing of what the true scale of the need and response of requirements will be. some of the other donor inputs are beginning to come online. we feel like it's in a good place for this point in time. the momentum is positive. the u.s. assistance and role was critical in getting the momentum and getting the ball rolling. getting forward we will have to see how needs evolve. we are on a good trajectory point for this crisis. >> on behalf of the nearly 200,000 filipinos in americans living in hawaii, we appreciate your indulgence and great work during this difficult time. thank you. >> thank you, senator schatz. appreciate you being here. congress are here and we focus how we can help, and obviously, it's receiving the type of priority it should. one of the purposes of this
hearing is to make sure the months ahead that the focus is still on how american help with the international community. and the government of the philippines. that's why i felt it was particularly important to hold this hearing and let people know this is not the end of our interests on this issue as to how we move forward and proceed. senator markey is here. he will be recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. so in the wake of the disaster, there's also a risk of secondary disasters, unsanitary drinking water, rapidly spreading virus. what precautions and measures are being taken to protect outbreaks of infectious diseases? i don't know if that question had been asked? >> no, it has not. >> thank you, senator.
that is a major concern of ours. we have been putting a very attentive focus on the health sector from the usaid side. we have not seen any -- we have not seen and the department of health has not seen indications of disease outbreaks. it's also a risk in this situation as you know because of a lot of standing water and often poor sanitation. that's why from the beginning usaid and our colleagues have prioritized water and sanitation in our response so that people have access to clean water and that they can address some of the sanitary issues and hygiene issues that go hand in hand with that increased disease risk. >> will our ship the "uss mercy" be deployed? >> senator, at this point no.
philippine authorities advised that they would rather have us focus in other areas that they felt like they had sufficient assistance plus their own resources on the medical side. >> at a time like this, we need to be focused on helping the survivors and the "uss george washington" and other ships are providing essential help and saving lives. we need to be concerned about the next storm and the one after that. how did the early warning system perform and how could it be improved? >> it was certainly a significant factor in this case. while it's hard to speculate exactly how many lives it saved, we could say confidently it definitely saved lives. spuf usaid and other departments worked with the philippines to
build up their disaster capacities. they take that seriously because they are hit by disasters many times a year. in this case their storm was anticipated in advance. there are regional meteorological networks that contributed to that awareness. that enabled the government of the philippines to evacuate nearly 800,000 people out of the storm's path and preposition food and other commodities. >> so reports that the storm surge took many people by surprise you think is exaggerated? >> i think the storm surge was surprising. what we were anticipating was heavy winds, rainfall, actually we were anticipating much more worse rainfall problem than we saw. >> did the storm surge come as a surprise to our scientists? >> as with superstorm sandy where the severity of the storm surge was not anticipated, was a
similar dynamic there. we anticipated some, but not a 30-foot storm surge. >> you think after hurricane sandy and after this situation we should begin to reevaluate what it is we should be expecting in terms of storm surges? is the fact that the oceans are getting so much warmer and these are so much more dynamic is something that should be factored in to what we include as warnings from storm surges? >> i think, and i'm not a scientist on these issues. clearly we need to factor in the potential for storm surge. i'm not sure what the science behind making that possible looks like. it's something that after any disaster like this, usaid does an after action review. >> it is my understanding many casualties occurred in government shelters that collapsed or flooded.
were they badly built and positioned or was the storm just too strong? >> senator, my understanding is that, i can't speak for anyone, but in general, people were evacuated to storm shelters that most of us had anticipated would serve the purpose effectively, but the storm surge in particular that jeremy described, i think, affected and inundated some of those shelters, even if they withstood the wind and rain. >> this was an ef-4 tornado strength winds. what were the shelters built to withstand, do you know? >> there is going to be certainly once this initial period of intense activity settles down there will be a lot of probing of those questions. >> it might be advisable for us to work with them so we might be able to give them a good recommendation as to what the strength should be given kind of
the predictable nature of intensifying of storms. water expands when it's heated, oceans are getting much warmer. as a result, the waves are much higher. as a result, the storms are much more devastating. so this is something that is scientifically indisputable and something we should work with them to help them think it through. it's worth noting this typhoon was forecast to potentially hit vietnam after it just struck the philippines. last month the united states and vietnam agreed to a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. i think we should begin to think about whether or not we should be putting nuclear power plants with u.s. cooperation in countries like vietnam knowing without proper protection there
could be catastrophic consequences that flow from the interaction of a natural disaster and a nuclear power plant that is not as strong or well positioned as it could be. we just saw that in japan. they are going to be going several generations with the consequences of a natural disaster link to nuclear power plants. so from my perspective, i want to congratulate everyone who participated in helping, especially in these early stages of relief. but i think for usaid, for the state department, for the defense department, i think that we all have to come together in a way that deals with the national security consequences s of climate change. the impact that it's having upon our allies and our enemies that
modifies their behavior in terms of how they are able to, in fact, control their own environment. and understand then what the consequences are for our national security because theirs is undermined. so again, it's just one more warning. if we needed it, it's a domestic issue as well with 65 tornados all dropping down in one day out in the middle west, in the middle of november. this is unprecedented. the impact climate change is having and has severe long-term national security consequences. we thank you for your work and i thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me join senator markey and his concerns. it's clear that the realities of more extreme weather require us to be engaged internationally on mitigating as much damage as we can with the new reality.
senator markey is one of the leaders is someone to do something about this in terms of climate change. both are important points that the cost of these storms and loss of life and in the cost of rebuilding communities is enormous. beyond the capacities of governments to be able to respond to. then when you put certain facilities in these high-risk areas, the security issue becomes even greater and the cost greater. i thank senator markey for raising those issues. i am very impressed by the u.s. response to this storm. i thank both of you for your leadership. mr. konyndyk, wish you safe travels tomorrow. mr. marciel, wish you a speedy return here tomorrow for the second hearing on this
subcommittee. we thank you both for your public service. we will continue our interest and thank you -- not only your testimony today, but willingness to keep us informed as we look at the long-term rebuilding process that's going to be necessary in how the united states plays a role in that and following up on senator markey's points as to what we should be doing to try to mitigate these types of disasters in the future. with that, the subcommittee will stand adjourned. thanks.
[inaudible conversations] >> now con -- congressman mac thornberry talks about the way the pentagon spends money and gives out security clearances. the texas republican is heading up an initiative for the house armed services committee to change the pentagon's acquisition process. the center for strategic and
international studies hosted this one hour event. >> hello, everybody. we've got a few seats left and we'll bring some more chairs in the back. we'll keep the doors open. welcome, everybody. i look around the room and i can see, i can't afford the billing hours that are in this room right now. so we better get started. this is pretty rich crowd and hey, skip, i haven't seen you in so long. welcome everybody, i'm john hamry, chair at csis. i was in abu dhabi when i heard that mac thornberry was going to come to give a big announcement. i said, well, i better get back. fortunately i got back but it was three hours ago. so the most important thing for me to do is get away from the stage quickly because i will make mistakes and stay here and try, but i can't resist. i do wanted to say, i was in
abu dhabi this last weekend. two weeks before that i was in tokyo at a conference and two weeks before that in seoul and every place i'm hearing the same thing. it is, what the hell are you americans doing to yourselves? you know they want america to be a global leader and they see what we're doing and they're genuinely anxious, they're genuinely worried what we're doing. they say why, why is this happening? and i give them an explanation about very deep turmoil we have, within our government about how do we establish priorities when our budget's so out of whack? and it, this is going to be with us for a while. when i tell them that, this will be a longer-term problem and we'll have this problem for a while and they all feel everybody sag, that we have this. but i said, don't be mistaken. if we're needed tomorrow, if the iranians were to do something crazy in the straits of hormuz
we'll be there. we'll be there. you, don't worry about that. so what we're, what we're really have to look at is not today. we've got this remarkable capacity, remarkable military. what are we going to have in 10 years? what are we going to have in 15 years? that's really the issue that's on the table. that's really what vice chairman thornberry is doing. he is going to be looking at i think one of the most important questions. we can't afford to keep doing things the way we've been doing them and stay on the path we're on. we don't have those resources. and yet the world needs us to be just as capable in 10 and 15 years as we are today. how are we going to do that? that's really the challenge in front of us and that's -- i'm not at all surprised that, that chairman mckeen turned to mac and asked him to head this up because he is clearly
highly-regarded in this town having been here i guess now 19 years but having been here for 19 years, going on 20, having such distinguished service, having touched the department in so many ways, there is no one better suited for this challenging time than mac thornberry. which would you please welcome him with your applause. we look forward to hearing him. [applause] >> well, thank you, john and i very much appreciate the chance to be back at csis as well as all of the serious, important work that goes on here. i got to say in all my interactions with csis experts over the years i certainly benefited tremendously from their guidance and ideas and i have no doubt that the work that
goes on here makes an important difference. and y'all are nice to come and listen to me but the truth is we could all sit here and take notes from dr. hamre or david bartow or pierre chao or some other experts here on this topic. i do have to note however, that the last time i was at csis it was for a cyber exercise and i was asked to play the president and dr. ham rehas not invited me back since. i think it was deeply disturbing for him as is understandable. chairman mckey on and i talking about a focused defense reform effort for some time. among the issues he asked he to tackle are acquisition reform, organizational bloat and security clearance process. something that house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers is equally interested in.
today i'm just going to focus on the first of those topics and i have to confess that the first two questions that popped into my mind when buck asked me to tackle this were, one, is it possible, and two, is it worth the effort? now if that comes across as somewhat skeptical, then the reason for that is every few years since i've been in congress as you just heard for nearly 20 years, we passed some sort of legislation on acquisition refor. now maybe some of it was helpful. maybe some of it contributed to the problem but if you look at the whole picture there's things certainly no better now and in some ways they're worse than they were 20 years ago. so let me just give you a multiple choice question here. a study was done looking at six problems with dodd acquisition. schedule slippage, cost growth, lack of qualified personnel, high personnel turnover,
inadequate cost estimation and insufficient training in managing contractors. what year do you think that was done? 19962, 19982, 2000 two, 2012? the answer it would have been done in any of those years. as a matter of fact last 50 years, we've seen 27 major government studies and 300 non-government studies on exactly those issues but you're right. that was harvard business school study in 1962. looking at exact same things. as frank kendall mentioned here a few days ago, defense acquisition has been a significant issue for us since the revolutionary war but at the very same time dr. hamre has written about this, one of the key factors in our success in world leadership has been that industry is an indispensable partner with the armed forces in defending the country and as he
wrote, we have harnessed the energy and creative power of the profit motive to national security. so it is a fundamental strength and yet at the same time it's a persistent problem and most all of the studies that have looked at the problem over the last 50 years have said roughly the same thing. and as i mentioned there has been a number of legislative attempts with unsatisfactory results. so the less on i learned from that, we have to go deeper. we have to not just treat the symptoms but deal with the root causes of the problem that have made it so difficult for us to solve these problems over the last 50 years. we ought to remember, we're talking about a lot of money here. last year the department the defense let contracts for $360 billion. that is 10% of the entire federal budget and more than 50% of dod's obligations.
and yet as gao testified in our hearing a couple weeks ago if you compare 2008 to 2012, and look at cost estimations, just in those four years we got 7% worse on developmental costs, 13% worse on total acquisition costs, and the average delay in initial operating capability went from 22 months to 27 months. so just looking a the last four years we've gotten worse in all these categories. it is not just the acquisition of weapons and equipment. the pentagon spends more on service contracts than it does on weapons and there it is even harder to know if the taxpayers are getting good value. what we do know is that if you look at the last five years, contract spending is down 10%,
but bid protests are up 45%. there is hardly a contract awarded these days there is not a protest on. so, what is effect of these trends? well, we waste a lot of money and effort. we have more tale and less tooth. more overhead and less fighting capability than we should have for the money we spend. let me just give you another quick historical test. who said this and when? as long as we operate a system where the checkers outnumber the doers, the doers are condemned to spend their time doing paperwork for the checkers. again, it could been at any or all of the defense manufacturing facilities i visited in the last two or five years but in fact, that is admiral rickover quoted by deputy secretary packard in a letter to omb director george shultz in 1970.
we're at the point that it is estimated about a third of procurement dollars are going to overhead right now. the rest of the story is, it is not just waste. we are not as agile and responsive as we need to be in a dangerous world. and so we face this festering problem of getting good value for the taxpayers in a timely way in a larger context of two essential facts. one of those facts, the world is not getting any safer or any less complex. when he retired a couple months ago the deputy cia director more rel, he doesn't remember a time in the term of the cia we had so many front burner national security issues. i won't go on about it, but just a brief list of cyber, proliferation, terrorism, syria, russia, china, iran, north korea, keeping alliances together makes the point.
things are not petting any easier. i think the second essential fact we'll face tight defense budgets as far as the eye can see. truth is we have dug ourselves a deep hole of debt. now we all hope the economy improves. we need to reform entitlement programs where most of the spending is. we need to find a way to get our fiscal house in order without across-the-board cuts that sequestration would impose. we need more stability in funding because the disruptions caused by the uncertainty that we face are undermining every attempt to improve the system and are costing us dearly. but the point i want to make is, if all that stuff is solved in the way i want it to, i know of no scenario that envisions a return to large defense budget increases, short of some sort of a catastrophic event that none of us want to see. so even if the best-case scenario we've got to face a
dangerous, complicated world with limited resources. and that means we have to get more defense for the dollar. that's the reason chairman mckoen asked me to chair the effort on interrelated topics. focusing first how the pentagon buys goods and services. let me be clear, our purpose is not to cut defense or make it easier to cut defense. our purpose is to get more defense, more value, out of the dollars we spend. one very encouraging thing is that i think this is completely bipartisan and bicameral. adam smith, the ranking member on the house armed services as well as senator levin and senator inhofe are just as interested in this as we are on our side and that is, i think an essential place to start. i'm also very encouraged with a lot of what frank kendall had to say here just 10 days ago and i
guaranty we will be more than happy to sit down and go through with him line by line, federal regulations to thin them out and to simplify them. of course along the way we just can't focus on big dod. we have also got to work with the services up and down the chain of command. you're not going to do this without full participation of the industry partners that dr. hamre talked about. but i think we're at a point where everybody agrees this is the time we have to act. so for our approach we started on october 29th with a hearing that looked back at the last 25 years of acquisition reform efforts. we had three excellent witnesses that fav us their insights. we're continue with conversations with people across government and outside of government and again, so far there's been nothing but eagerness to help.
i expect we're going to have working groups across organizations in the coming months and obviously we're going to have hearings directly on this topic but in addition to that this topic is going to shape all the rest of the hearings we have, whether it's about shipbuilding or airplanes or how to best meet the needs of our service people who are deployed and contract support there. these questions are going to influence all the hearings we have in the coming years. now we're not looking at this as, okay, we're going to take two years to study it and come out with a 2000-page bill to solve all the problems in the world. we'll look to make progress along the way as we go and also have a bit of humility understanding that not all the answers to this are going to come through legislation. some of what we need to do in congress is to change our oversight, the questions we ask and to help encourage some
changes in culture in the pentagon and in the services. for example, one suggestion that already has been made, y'all ought to have a hearing on a acquisition program that's done well. and pat them on the back. don't just call up the people who are in trouble, reward the people who have done a good job. and obviously we need y'all's help, your input, to make this work. not just about substantively what need to happen, what sort of process will help us reach the best results. so let me get back to my two questions, is it possible, and is it worth it? i think there's a lot of understandable skepticism that goes with 50 years of frustration. there are some people who argue that basically there is only a few things that you can try. you can centralize or decentralize. you can have greater flexibility or more rigid mandates.
you can emphasize the government or emphasize the contractors. there are only certain limited options. you tried them all but won't get any better than that. well, i don't buy that. i think it is important, as we did in our first hearing toking a knowledge what we've done so far has not worked out so well and to try to learn the lessons that that teaches us. but also think that we're not going to make things better by piling on new mandates, new oversight offices, new micromanagement. that is not the direction we need to go. and the rest of the story is if an automaker can take a car from concept to customer in less than 24 months, if a computer company can change its manufacturing requirements in a day, if boeing can take a commercial airliner and develop and field it in less than five years, then surely to goodness we can do better than we're doing now for the men and
women who risk their lives to serve our country around the globe. as with most things i think the key factor comes down to people. one thing is, that we're making it harder and harder for people who know what they're doing to serve in the system. and that's a problem. we also have to hone in on the reasons that good people who are in the system act rationally, but their decisions are not good for the, getting the best value for the taxpayers. and so it seems to me incentives in the system are incredibly important. we have got to ask, what does the system encourage someone to do? the simplest example is, it encourages you to spend all the money before the end of the year or else you will get less of it next year. but here's another example that was pointed out to us. if you're, simple example from our homes, if you've got to replace the pipe, do you pick copper or plastic?
if you've got a system that will always reward you from taking the least expensive item at the, for the acquisition, at the beginning during acquisition, you know what the answer's going to be but are we looking enough at the maintenance cost, the repairs that have to be done, the lifetime costs of the decisions that we have to make. isn't that what the taxpayers are ultimately going to be on the hook for? let me give you another example that was brought to our attention. the civil today would rather pay a billion dollars for something and allow the contractor to have a 5% profit than pay half as much and allow the contractor to have a 20% profit. now how can that be good for taxpayers or for guesting the most value for our money so things have to change. and we may well have before us, a unique opportunity to change some of these built-in incentives. a set of circumstances today that not only give us a better
chance but also demand from us, a better response, dealing with those root causes than at anytime we've had in the past 50 years. and let me just suggest some of the reasons that give us this opportunity. one is that the defense industrial base has consolidated 25 years ago there were 50 major defense contractors. today there is six. secondly dod is becoming a less influential buyer in the market generally but also more and more companies are focusing on other customers other than dod. and the harder and more expensive it is to do business with dod the fewer that companies that will do so. third, commercial technology is often in the lead on innovation and obviously we have to take advantage of that. fourth, we have better data than we have ever had before. we have more insight what is happening in the system. that is giving us new opportunities to get down at a
deeper level. fifth, other countries are not sitting still. sixth, iraq and afghanistan have proven what acquisition can mean in saving lives. and yet, we had to set up a separate acquisition system for the things we wanted the most to get around the current system because they couldn't get them there fast enough. and i would add a last factor. i think dod is in transition partly because of tighter budgets. partly because of the wind-down in afghanistan. the changes happening around the world. things are in flux and so if you put these things together this is the time not only is it possible i would suggest it's a necessity, that we take advantage of it. so finally is it worth the effort? well, our goal is to help the pentagon be a smarter buyer of goods and services and help get top quality weapons and
equipment and services contributing to our security quicker. and the difference to our security that comes from getting more defense for the dollar, and having a more agile responsive system is just enormous. in his book, reviewing the history of warfare since 1500 max boot writes, innovation has been speeding up. that means that keeping up with the pace of change is getting harder than ever and the risk of getting left behind are rising. today there is no room for error. i got to say, that very point was made over and over and over again this past weekend out at the reagan library at the reagan defense conference where we heard about the pace of technological change getting faster and faster and the, and the difficulty in catching up once you get behind.
british military writer littleheart wrote in 1944 that military history is filled with the record of military improvements that have been resisted. . . 50 years of frustration and that we can only do that with your help, with all of us working together towards this common goal. thank you. [applause]